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In the End

The Obituaries Page

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The “In the End” team takes a few moments to memorialize a few things that are no longer with us.

“HOW CAN I HELP YOU TODAY, SIR?” died yesterday. He was 138. Used as the top retail salutation during its entire life, “How Can I Help You Today, Sir?” passed away after a short battle with handheld texting devices. Its final blow came in Mel’s House of Jewels in Toledo, OH, when a salesperson uttered the welcoming phrase to a young man as he walked in the door. The man, however, was updating his Facebook profile to read “is now single” and thus completely ignored the salesperson. “How Can I Help You Today, Sir?” is survived by “Good Afternoon!” and “If You Need Help With Anything, Just Let Me Know.”


THE RETIREMENT WATCH passed away last week. It was 71. Long held in esteem by short-sleeved-shirt wearing businessmen of many corporate stripes, the retirement watch was given as a measure of respect to retiring employees before they shuffled off to Boynton Beach. The cause of Retirement’s Watch death is unclear; Irony seems to have something to do with it, as well as This Damned Recession. Retirement Watch is survived by Layoff Toothpick.


TOPAZ, specifically the doo-doo brown variety most often referred to as “Smoky,” died yesterday after a long illness when Merideth Smeggleman, a Bellmore, NY, high school junior, discovered her November birth date mandated she get the stone set in her high school ring, which needed to be ordered by this Friday. Smeggleman, a cheerleader who is dating a college sophomore, totally wigged out at the notion of the brown-hued ring. Instead, she demanded her daddy buy her diamond earrings.


JOKES ABOUT CUBIC ZIRCONIA perished last week at the age of 33. The cause was bludgeoning. Long held as a topic worthy of witty banter amongst grooms-to-be, cubic zirconia jokes seemed to be fair ground for all involved. That is until Jerry Winkleman, a jeweler based out of Lubbock, TX, snapped after a prospective groom inspected a diamond ring and asked, with husky chuckle, if the ring was, in fact, “that cubed macaronia (bleep).” Winkleman took the man out to the toolshed and learned him something good.


“HIGHEST PRICE FOR GOLD” SIGNS died yesterday after a short battle with common sense. Said Jane Trippleman, who was seeking to sell her grandmother’s brooch: “I don’t get it. How can each jewelry store in a strip mall within a 10-mile radius of my home claim to pay the highest prices for gold? Clearly, one of them pays the highest, and the others … don’t.” Trippleman also mentioned the signs were “tacky.” She decided to keep the brooch.

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SCHEMING TO IMPROVE YOUR RANKING ON YELP.COM was killed yesterday after a poster going by the name “I’m Not the Owner of Jim’s Gems and Jewels, No Really, I’m Not” posted a glowing review of Jim’s Gems and Jewels, specifically highlighting the customer service, fair prices and the fact Jim, the owner, has a “fantastically toned butt.” Other jewelry store owners in the vicinity of Jim’s Gems and Jewels responded by posting their own Yelp entries, and consumers in the area all decided to go to Zales.com instead.

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Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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